Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon is an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. Its boarding school setting is dream-like and the characters are compelling. However, the pacing of this story was a tad off and affected my overall enjoyment.Title: Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy #1)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Diverse
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can't shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Of Curses and Kisses
❀ Diverse and Intriguing
Menon has devised a unique twist to the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast that is both diverse and intriguing. It is really enjoyable to read about the curse placed upon the Emerson family by the Rao’s. When the off-spring of the two families wind up at St. Rosetta’s boarding school together, the enemies to lovers trope takes a curious spin.
❀ Complex Character
Jaya’s character is complex and her struggle to do what is right for her family and people gives her an opportunity to grow and reflect. This aspect of the book really gives a modern element to an old fairy tale, which is quite thought-provoking. Grey, however, is my favourite of the two main characters because he has a certain softness underneath his rough exterior.
Unfortunately, despite the perfect setting and interesting characters, the pacing of the book is quite slow. It takes a long time for things to start happening in Of Curses and Kisses. Also, there is an abundance of fancy words that riddle almost every page of the novel. I found this to be quite distracting, as I found myself looking up many of these words to understand the context of the sentence.
Of Curses and Kisses is a promising start to the Rosetta Academy series. It has an ideal setting and a captivating premise. That being said, the complicated language and slow pace make this book less entertaining to read.